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Billy Cannon Statue Unveiled


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34 minutes ago, houtiger said:

I read an article by someone who was on the LSU track team with Cannon, he said it was very unusual to have a 100 yd. dash sprinter go over to the field events and put the shot.

it absolutely is. 

as a sprinter, the extreme vast majority of us are built similarly to me.  well usually taller, but not big dudes 

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5 minutes ago, Nutriaitch said:

it absolutely is. 

as a sprinter, the extreme vast majority of us are built similarly to me.  well usually taller, but not big dudes 

My friend's dad went to Tulane and competed against Cannon in track.  Said he was a physical freak for the times, nobody else was that big AND that fast.

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  • 3 months later...

Dad, that was an OUTSTANDING interview, first time I have seen that.  I was about 8 when Cannon went to the Oilers and my Dad and I would watch the games.  It is nice to hear some inside perspective from Cannon's point of view.  Of course I watched him play tight end with the Raiders.  Al Davis with the Raiders went crazy in his old age, but he was innovative in his prime.  The 60's, the pro game was a running game, and tight ends were bigger and mainly blockers.  The AFL coaches, led by Al Davis, moved the game to a passing game, and Davis put Cannon, who was small for a tight end but much faster, and for the first time you saw a tight end way downfield catching long passes.  After the AFL teams started winning super bowls, the original NFL teams started to develop better passing attacks.  But with Billy Cannon, Al Davis created a mis-match and it worked for the Raiders.

Cannon became reflective.  After he served his time, he was like a recluse for years.  Then he came back out and was very humble, reflective, and he had a great sense of humor that young people enjoyed, those who never saw him play.

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  • 1 month later...

Was Billy Cannon the LSU G.O.A.T.?



Since shocking the Kansas City Chiefs, many articles have been written about how Joe Burrow can make history as being the first quarterback to win the Heisman, the National Championship, get taken first overall in the draft, and possibly win the Super Bowl.  Joe Burrow will always be remembered as one of the best college quarterbacks to ever play the game, and is building an amazing resume in the NFL. However, let us remember all that William “Billy” Cannon accomplished.

In short, Billy Cannon won the 1958 National Championship, the 1959 Heisman Trophy, and the first two American Football League Championships with the Houston Oilers.  He was also on the 1967 Oakland Raiders team that lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl II.  Below is a listing of some of his accomplishments.

  • National champion (1958)
  • Heisman Trophy (1959)
  • 2× SEC Player of the Year (1958, 1959)
  • 2× Unanimous All-American (1958, 1959)
  • 2× First-team All-SEC (1958, 1959)
  • Second-team All-SEC (1957)
  • Back of the Decade (1950s)
  • Defensive Back of the Decade (1950s)
  • Southeast Area All-Time Football Team: 1920–1969 era
  • Jet Award (top return specialist in college football)
  • First $100,000 professional football player
  • 3× AFL Champion (1960, 1961, 1967)
  • 2× AFL Championship MVP (1960, 1961)
  • 2× AFL All-Star (1961, 1969)
  • 2× First-team All-AFL (1961, 1967)
  • 2× Second-team All-AFL (1960, 1968)
  • AFL rushing yards leader (1961)
  •  LSU Athletic Hall of Fame
  •  Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
  •  College Football Hall of Fame 
  •  #20 jersey retired by LSU
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All that Cannon  accomplished, he might (probably would have) done a lot more.  He suffered a back injury while he was a running back with the Oilers, maybe the 63 or 64 season, and he was never the same.  He couldn't take the pounding as a running back.  Houston thought he was done.  Come along Al Davis with the Raiders, and when he was young and lucid, he was creative and things worked.  He liked Cannon's sprinter speed, so he traded for Cannon and made him a tight end.  When you see that All AFL in 1967, that was as a Raider's tight end.  Davis did not use him as a blocking tight end, he had Cannon run down the field and catch passes.  I guess he could see what a mismatch that was for a LB to try and cover Cannon.  And Cannon caught a lot of passes for the Raiders, and he was well downfield.  While the NFL remained run oriented, the AFL transitioned and became more pass oriented.  Many at the time felt the NFL would always dominate, but after the Jets and Chiefs won SB III and IV, it was the NFL that began to change, more to a passing scheme.

There is a youtube recapping one of the oiler seasons, and I think the play Cannon injured his back is in that recap.  It did not look like much of a hit, but he was never the same after that.  I'll try to find it.

Edited by houtiger
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OK, I GOT IT!  It was the 1962 season highlights video, and for the first 6 minutes, you will see lots of Billy Cannon.  Go to the 5:45 mark for a short version leading up to Cannon's back injury.  The injury play starts at 6:15.  My dad told me a guy jumped into Cannon's back with his knees.  At the end of the play, Cannon is on the ground and the linebacker (#56, not visible until he is over Cannon) goes to hit him, looks like he can't stop himself, and his knees probably go into Cannon's back, and the rest of the LB body goes over the top of Cannon.  Dad thought they were trying to put Cannon out of the game, but it does not appear that way to me.  I'm glad I found this film, for all of us Tiger fans.  If you can stand some old time football, that video is the largest collection of Billy Cannon playing that I know of.  And watch how many times the throw the ball to Cannon, he could catch also.

In the video, when the Oilers played the Buffalo Bills, Warren Rabb is their QB.

Cannon's running mate was Charlie Tolar, born in Natchitoches, went to Northwestern, 5' 6", 210 lbs, nickname "the human bowling ball".


If you get to the end of the video, the AFL championship game, the Oilers lost in overtime to the Dallas Texans, who then moved to KC and became the Chiefs.

And below is another Cannon highlight video, college days only.


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Most people don’t know much about Billy Cannons track career. He had super strength and set records in the SEC and NCAA in shot put and the 100 yard dash.   He held the record in the 100 until the late 80’s.   He qualified for the Olympics in the 100 yard dash but opted to go to a bowl game because they paid him $1000.  It was something like the Senior bowl where they picked individual players.  He had two kids and one on the way so he opted for football.    Here are two pictures of him while at LSU.






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